XXIV IUFRO World Congress
“Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research”
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: October 5-11, 2014
http://www.iufro2014.com/ – http://www.iufro.org/events/congresses/2014/
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The Third IUFRO Latin American Congress under the theme of “Forests, Competitiveness and Sustainable Landscapes” held in San José, Costa Rica, from 12-15 June 2013, was an extraordinary experience as it brought together a unique range of actors from the natural resources sector of Latin America and provided an ideal platform for intensive discussion and exchange of experiences.
(Edited translation of press release)
Find the Spanish release written by Karla Salazar Leiva, CATIE Communications, at:
On 14 June, the Third IUFRO Latin American Congress (IUFROLAT 2013), one of the largest forest research events in Latin America, came to a close.
12-15 June 2013
San José, Costa Rica
Congress website: http://www.web.catie.cr/iufrolat/Iufro_ing.htm
This blog will present highlights and impressions from IUFROLAT III, the Third IUFRO Latin American Congress which starts today in the city of San José, Costa Rica and will run until Saturday, 15 June 2013. The Congress has been organized together with CATIE, the Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, RIABM, the Iberoamerican Model Forest Network, FAO and several IUFRO members in the region. The overall theme of the Congress is “Forests, competitiveness and sustainable landscapes” and one of its major goals is to place relevant science-based information at the disposal of decision makers.
With up to 600 expected participants, IUFROLAT III has exceeded all expectations and has outnumbered previous regional Congresses by far. This clearly shows the extraordinary interest and need of scientists in Latin America to share and exchange information on the issues that are high on the agenda in the region concerning forest and landscape management, ecosystem services and climate change adaptation and mitigation, among others. The Congress languages being Spanish, English and Portuguese will further contribute to ensuring an excellent exchange of knowledge and experience.
IUFRO is placing particular emphasis on strengthening forest-related research in regions. Regional congresses are aimed to promote quality research as well as maintain the momentum of IUFRO activities in the five-year periods between IUFRO World Congresses in a certain region.
The great success of previous regional congresses, especially the First African Regional Congress held in Nairobi, Kenya, almost exactly one year ago, have confirmed the great need for IUFRO’s focusing on defined geographic areas. The first two IUFRO Latin American Congresses in Valdivia (1998) and La Serena (2006), both organized by INFOR, the Forest Research Institute of Chile, and the European Regional Congress that took place in Warsaw, Poland (2007), are further excellent examples.
IUFRO Board Meeting
Right before the Congress, the IUFRO Board (http://www.iufro.org/who-is-who/board/) held its annual meeting and important issues concerning the future of the network, its leadership, venues of world congresses and strategic guidelines are on the agenda. The decisions made at this Board meeting will pave the way for the next Board term starting after the next IUFRO World Congress in October 2014 in Salt Lake City, USA (http://www.iufro2014.com/).
IUFRO-SPDC Pre-Congress Training Workshop: Communicating Forest Research – Making Science work for Policy and Management
San José, Costa Rica, June 9-11
Prior to the Congress, IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (IUFRO-SPDC), formerly known as the Special Programme for Developing Countries in coordination with CATIE, carried out a training workshop for early-career scientists from the Latin American Region to strengthen capacities and skills in forest science communication. The workshop brought together 16 participants from 11 regional countries.
One attendant, Eduardo Lopez Rosse from CIDES-UMSA and UMSS-Trópico, Bolivia, expressed his thoughts on the workshop. “The workshop was a great experience… I learned how to transmit scientific information outside the academic arena to other stakeholders, municipalities in my country, as well as to the general public.”
Another scientist, Mariana Moya, Extension Advisor at the Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires of Argentina had this to say, “We have a lot of people in Latin America working intensively with small farmers, with aboriginal communities, and we must communicate with governments, private companies, and different kinds of social organizations. It is helpful to me to see experiences from people who work in Brazil, Chile, Panama, and how they are communicating in their extension programs.”
The workshop which concluded today was an excellent demonstration of the SPDC’ capacity development efforts in building strengthened communication of forest research in a region.
It is important to note that IUFRO-SPDC through generous contributions by the Governments of Finland, Germany and the United States of America as well as the Center for International Forestry Research supports a total of 66 scientists in the framework of the Scientist Assistance Programme to attend the IUFROLAT Congress, bringing scientists who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to come to such an event.
Information about the Training Courses and IUFRO-SPDC:
Coordinator, IUFRO Working Party on Community Forestry (9.05.06)
Forests are the major source of our ecosystem services that the society avails for its sustenance and healthy growth. Forestry thus has continued to have a very complex and large social dimension with a number of interfaces between forest and society. These interfaces range from exploitation to protection & conservation. They form the key to an interdisciplinary approach between forestry sciences and social sciences, and create the potential for a mutual collaboration between the two.
Now, the question is: Do we really need such an interdisciplinary approach? How about forestry totally independent of social science, and vice versa?
The fact is that social scientists/activists/organizations pioneered in discovering many misdeeds and errors which the foresters either ignored or were unaware of, and this provided a scope for developing holistic management models for effective conservation of forest & wildlife.
Going for an interdisciplinary approach doesn’t disturb the exclusive identity of a stream/subject, rather it liberalizes it in a constructive manner creating scope for a more comprehensive and holistic understanding as well as expression. It’s like two or more nations sharing their boundaries (they obviously do not and cannot share all their boundaries with each other). And the challenges in the present world critically need an interdisciplinary approach for facing them in an effective and holistic way.
RCDC took a significant initiative towards making such interface possible in forest management. In the training-cum-workshop organized in 2010 it invited villagers practicing community forestry, and also some forestry experts to discuss silviculture in community forestry. And the interaction came out with a very interesting conclusion that silviculture needs to be participatory so as to avoid the possible ill effects (communities reported how the Departmental silviculture led to clearing of some of the valuable NTFP species and also to the invasion of weeds). It also gave a message to the community that silviculture doesn’t mean only thinning & cleaning, but it considers a lot of other elements and activities for overall forest development. Thus, silviculture itself can serve as an interface between foresters and communities, and participatory silviculture becomes an interdisciplinary approach.
One can obviously identify more interface points. In fact, few of the IUFRO units already recognize that their approach is and should be interdisciplinary. Further, limitations of the existing scope do not mean that we can’t have more/new points of interface in future, with changing dynamics.
Keeping ourselves mystified with our own identity followed by an attitude to not open to suggestions from other areas are our biggest barriers in promoting such an approach; so demystification must be a key word to remove such a barrier. The sub-division/WP coordinators have to identify the possible interface points first and the division coordinators have to ensure an attitude for demystification and liberalization. The IUFRO Secretariat can closely monitor the track.
The author works for Regional Centre for Development Centre (RCDC), a IUFRO member from India, in the capacity of Sr. Programme Manager; and the above article has been written in response to the debate on interdisciplinary approach in the IUFRO Division 9 conference recently held at Sarajevo from 9-11 May, 2012.